Officials said two men from Scotland Neck were leaving a home on Gallberry Road around 4 a.m. and started to argue.
During the argument 20-year-old James Edward Cotton III was shot and later died from his injuries.
Deputies arrested 18-year-old Alden Joseph Ruth Jr. and charged him with murder. Ruth is being held without bond in the Halifax County Jail. He is scheduled to appear in court Sept. 19.
Officials do not know what caused the argument that prompted the shooting.